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Old 05-25-2009, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Central Maine
4,697 posts, read 5,835,980 times
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Yeah, one of my sisters turned 62 in February, and immediately applied for SS. As for me, I haven't worked enough non-government time to be eligible for SS, and unless I return to the workforce (something I'm not considering), this is one boomer who won't be applying for SS. I find that a comforting thought, given some of the dire predictions on the future of SS.
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Old 05-25-2009, 03:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenGene View Post
Yeah, one of my sisters turned 62 in February, and immediately applied for SS. As for me, I haven't worked enough non-government time to be eligible for SS, and unless I return to the workforce (something I'm not considering), this is one boomer who won't be applying for SS. I find that a comforting thought, given some of the dire predictions on the future of SS.
I would suggest you might want to be cautious as government pensions are in touble and just because a state doesn't participate in SS doesn't mean their finances are sound. If you are a Federal employee from their previous system consider how hard it would be for them to pull the plug on SS in some way shape or form and still handsomely award their former employees.
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Central Maine
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Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
I would suggest you might want to be cautious as government pensions are in touble and just because a state doesn't participate in SS doesn't mean their finances are sound. If you are a Federal employee from their previous system consider how hard it would be for them to pull the plug on SS in some way shape or form and still handsomely award their former employees.
Some state government pensions are in trouble - the federal pension fund is not, and I'm a federal (CSRS) retiree, as is my wife. I suspect that there will be some adjustments made to SS (raising the retirement age perhaps?), but I don't see "pulling the plug" as a viable option. As far as "handsomely award" ... no, that sounds like the government is giving retirees something extra, whereas the government is merely meeting their obligation to retirees.
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Old 05-26-2009, 01:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by GreenGene View Post
Some state government pensions are in trouble - the federal pension fund is not, and I'm a federal (CSRS) retiree, as is my wife. I suspect that there will be some adjustments made to SS (raising the retirement age perhaps?), but I don't see "pulling the plug" as a viable option. As far as "handsomely award" ... no, that sounds like the government is giving retirees something extra, whereas the government is merely meeting their obligation to retirees.
The Federal Gov't is how many Trillion dollars in debt and growing? All aspects of federal spending are at risk.
Salaries and Benefits of U.S. Congress Members
As it is for all other federal employees, congressional retirement is funded through taxes and the participants' contributions. Members of Congress under FERS contribute 1.3 percent of their salary into the FERS retirement plan and pay 6.2 percent of their salary in Social Security taxes.

There appears to be no difference between how federal pensions are funded and state/local pensions. Contributions, Taxes and interest on investments. The difference is that state and local government CAN"T run a deficit and the Federal Government is highly proficient at it. Like I said all pensions are at risk since they are all dependent on the funding process(taxation) at their level.
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Old 05-26-2009, 02:02 PM
 
31,027 posts, read 37,080,009 times
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Originally Posted by GreenGene View Post
Some state government pensions are in trouble - the federal pension fund is not, and I'm a federal (CSRS) retiree, as is my wife. I suspect that there will be some adjustments made to SS (raising the retirement age perhaps?), but I don't see "pulling the plug" as a viable option. As far as "handsomely award" ... no, that sounds like the government is giving retirees something extra, whereas the government is merely meeting their obligation to retirees.
Marketplace Report: Underfunded Federal Pensions : NPR
U.S. government workers may be in for an unpleasant surprise when they retire -- a new Standard & Poor's report finds that federal pension plans are underfunded by more than $4 trillion. Madeleine Brand discusses the story with Tess Vigeland of Marketplace.
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Old 05-26-2009, 02:21 PM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
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Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
Marketplace Report: Underfunded Federal Pensions : NPR
U.S. government workers may be in for an unpleasant surprise when they retire -- a new Standard & Poor's report finds that federal pension plans are underfunded by more than $4 trillion. Madeleine Brand discusses the story with Tess Vigeland of Marketplace.
The date on that was 3 years ago.

How federal pensions are funded is very different from the state/local pensions. For example, the CA state pension fund was heavily invested in Enron and took another big hit with the stock market fall. The Fed pensions are essentially invested in Tbills - not stocks. Being able to print money is a huge advantage in funding the Fed govt. CA can't do that. If the Fed govt defaults on the Fed pension, we will have a collapse of the entire economic system like Argentina did many years ago and there will be nothing anywhere to protect anyone from such a catastrophe.
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Old 05-26-2009, 03:00 PM
 
31,027 posts, read 37,080,009 times
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Originally Posted by Tesaje View Post
The date on that was 3 years ago.

How federal pensions are funded is very different from the state/local pensions. For example, the CA state pension fund was heavily invested in Enron and took another big hit with the stock market fall. The Fed pensions are essentially invested in Tbills - not stocks. Being able to print money is a huge advantage in funding the Fed govt. CA can't do that. If the Fed govt defaults on the Fed pension, we will have a collapse of the entire economic system like Argentina did many years ago and there will be nothing anywhere to protect anyone from such a catastrophe.
The missing part is the part of federal pensions that come from taxation. Taxation that has to be approved by Congress. How willing are members of congress going to be to fund federal pensions when their constituents including state and local pensioners have lost theirs? All on both sides of the political aisle agree that the federal budget within a couple of years or sooner will need to be reigned in. What will be on the table to be carved out and approved by members of the House who have to answer to their constituents. With regards to it being three years old I ask the following: What about the economy over the last three years suggests that the government has been able to reduce the underfunding amount? If anything it has skyrocketed. If a pension is a defined benefit pension it has structural issues.
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Old 05-26-2009, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Central Maine
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Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
There appears to be no difference between how federal pensions are funded and state/local pensions. Contributions, Taxes and interest on investments.
There is in fact a HUGE difference between CSRS pensions (like mine) and FERS/state/local pensions in terms of funding, and that's the big reason why the federal government shifted to FERS for employees hired as of 1987. I was hired in 1974, and remained in CSRS. I ain't worried.
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Old 05-26-2009, 03:18 PM
 
31,027 posts, read 37,080,009 times
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For those who want a read on the federal retirement system and the funding issues. The following is report from the GAO to Congress along with others. You can read and identify a position for yourself. They are dated but the structural challenges have not changed. If they have some one can post a link to the contrary.
http://archive.gao.gov/t2pbat1/154582.pdf
https://www.policyarchive.org/bitstr...pdf?sequence=1
http://leg.mt.gov/content/publicatio...ERS_Status.pdf

News Articles: Federal Retirement Spared in Budget Bills (http://www.fedsmith.com/article/1241/ - broken link)
In March, neither the Senate nor the House proposed reducing federal civil service retirement or health benefits in their respective fiscal year (FY) 2008 Budget Resolutions. The Senate approved its version of the budget blueprint (S. Con. Res. 23) by a near party-line vote of 52 to 47 on March 23, and the House voted along mainly partisan lines to pass its tax-and-spending blueprint (H. Con. Res. 99) 216 to 210 on March 29. In April, House and Senate budget leaders were slated to settle the differences between the two measures in a compromise version to be approved by both chambers. The resulting resolution will serve as guidance for spending and revenue decisio

The above perhaps says it all

http://www.narfe.org/departments/hom...es.cfm?ID=1777
National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) President Margaret L. Baptiste praised the U.S. House of Representatives for defeating Rep. Paul Ryan’s, R-WI, amendment to the FISCAL YEAR 2010 BUDGET RESOLUTION (H. Con. Res. 85) which would have cut-back entitlement programs, like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, by $1.38 trillion over ten years, and would have included a reduction of $10.263 billion over ten years in federal civil service retirement and health benefits.

In an April 1 letter sent to all 435 members of the House (see attached), President Baptiste urged lawmakers to oppose the Ryan amendment because it would have compelled the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to consider proposals such as cutting or canceling federal annuity cost of living adjustments (COLAs), basing future retiree annuities on the highest five years of salary, shifting a growing share of Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) premium costs to workers and retirees and/or requiring workers to double their Thrift Savings Plan contribution to receive the full government share.

Don't want anyone to be worried. Just sharing some information for all who read this thread. Even the lurkers.
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Old 05-26-2009, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Central Maine
4,697 posts, read 5,835,980 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tesaje View Post
The date on that was 3 years ago.
Also from 2006:

Stephen Barr - Retirement Fund Tapped to Avoid National Debt Limit - washingtonpost.com

"The Treasury Department has started drawing from the civil service pension fund to avoid hitting the $8.2 trillion national debt limit. The move to tap the pension fund follows last month's decision to suspend investments in a retirement savings plan held by government employees.

"In a letter to Congress this week, Treasury Secretary John W. Snow said he would rely on the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund to avoid bumping up against the statutory debt limit. He said the Treasury is suspending investments and will redeem a portion of the money credited to the fund."

And...

"The civil service trust fund will provide the Treasury with several billion dollars for extra borrowing. The fund had an estimated balance of about $655 billion at the start of the year, but only a small portion of that is available to the Treasury because of the statutes restricting the fund's use during "debt issuance suspension" periods."
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